Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Back of Nathan Hale

Reportedly, this statue of Revolutionary War Hero Nathan Hale stands on the spot where the British hung him for espionage. New York City, loyal to the crown, early in the war, fell easily to the British. Hale went behind enemy lines to spy on the redcoats and was captured and executed. I recently read where his famous line, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country,” was probably a rewrite of the original: “I am so satisfied with the cause in which I have engaged that my only regret is that I have not more lives than one to offer in its service.” Leave it to New York to make all statements blunt, short, to the point. What struck me though is that this statue is in front of City Hall, but because of what are apparently security reasons, you are not allowed to view the statue without clearance. So much for being a hero of the people, the people can’t even pay tribute. But they do have this nice plaque where the riff-raff and common folk from Jersey are allowed to walk and acknowledge a grand statue that can only be appreciated in by members of the Bloomberg administration. Give us Nathan Hale back not his back.

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